New University Policy: Animals on Campus

The University has a newly developed policy that establishes rules governing the presence of non-research animals on the NEOMED campus. Specific procedures regarding the presence of animals at any affiliated clinical or experiential educational site is not governed by this policy.  For the purpose of the policy, the University has established three approved categories of animals; service animals, emotional support animals and program animals. All animals that do not meet the criteria of these categories are referred to as “Pets”.

  • Service Animal: Any dog or, in some circumstances, a miniature horse specifically trained to do work or perform a task for the benefit of an Individual with a Disability. The tasks performed by a Service Animal must directly relate to the individual’s disability.

  • Emotional Support Animal (ESA): Any Animal specifically designated by a qualified medical provider that provides emotional support or alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms of a person’s disability. ESA’s are also commonly known as assistance animals. ESA’s are not Service Animals.

  • Program Animal: Any animal that participates in an official University service or program. Program animals may include therapy animals.

Animals are generally prohibited in buildings or other controlled spaces on the NEOMED campus. However, under certain circumstances, animals will be permitted. Service Animals (SAs) assisting persons with a disability are welcome on campus consistent with the policy and applicable law. Persons requiring an SA will not normally be required to request an accommodation for this animal unless the animal is required to access “restricted spaces” on campus such as research or teaching laboratories or the Comparative Medicine Unit. These requests will be handled on an individual basis and can be made through Human Resources (employees) or Student Services (students)

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are governed under the Fair Housing Act and may be approved for an individual with a disability living in the Village. Requests for these animals should be directed to the Village management.   ESAs are subject to restrictions as listed in the policy and are not permitted into other University controlled spaces.

Program Animals may be approved for specific areas of the NEOMED campus by submitting the Animal Related Request Form. The specifics of the request will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on all factors listed in the request. These factors include, but are not limited to the type, number and training of animals, location, and handler requirements.

Pets are not permitted in or on any controlled space on University property and are permitted in the Village only to the extent permitted by the lease governing their rental agreement. This policy expressly excludes aquarium fish, research animals under the governance of the University’s IACUC and any animals used in law enforcement or rescue operations on University property.

The policy and request form can be obtained on the NEOMED Policy Portal. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.

-Submitted by Mechelle Gehle-Wann

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